What can we do to improve the community?
What can Riot do?
Basically, we add in what is similar to the report function, but is more like a "commend" function. Obviously this has been presented before and I am not claiming credit for it, but I will continue regardless.
Commended players should idealistically be players who provide the team with a positive attitude, critical (not abusive) discussions and optimism. The kind of player we all wish we had in every game.
Commended players should idealistically not be players who just carried the game.
Though obviously, people are more likely to commend players who carried WITH a positive attitude; but that is merely a side-effect.
Now these commended players who regularly help to facilitate positive experiences in games should be given what is loosely just 'extra influence'. By 'extra influence', I mean that their reports are taken more seriously. For example, if a commended player wished to report a person, this report would show up in the tribunal a lot quicker. If a commended player was reported however, it would be a quick way to lose their commended-status.
Personally, I think this is a good disincentive to lose your commended status as everyone loves being special.
Commended players could also receive a forum badge, maybe a slight (and I mean slight) IP boost or something. Basically just some kind of arbitrary reward for being a good summoner, because as anyone with even a remote background in psychology will tell you that delayed punishment does not work very well at all, so the tribunal in its current state is inherently flawed.
Additionally, this could go deeper. Commended players could have the opportunity to sign up for a position as an "official community ambassador" (or OCAs as I will refer to them from here on out.)
OCAs will have essentially what powers the commended players have, just amplified. They will have the powers to globally mute players who are being abusive, refer abusive players directly to Riot's support staff who can make a decision on whether or not to ban them and maybe even have a little mark on their reports in the tribunal that states "this player was reported by an OCA" or something. OCAs will also have to agree and adhere to a strict code of conduct. An OCA found guilty of breaching the summoner's code will be punished with immediate suspension of that account (either permanently or just a temporary one that will be included with permanent removal from the OCA and commendation system).
Bare in mind that OCAs will have to agree to these terms to prevent abuse and that entering into the system is voluntary, so we get no "QQ I was an OCA that got banned because I called someone a noob, I never agreed to this!" threads.
Obviously, this idea is still in a framework at the moment. Details need to be ironed out and critique is welcome. However, the community needs the power to police its self. Riot is too small and the playerbase is too large for it to go on like this.